Grants Division

Economic incentives for historic preservation and rehabilitation serve to stimulate research and preserve our historic properties. The MHC administers a federal grants-in-aid program for survey and planning projects as well as a state matching grant program for restoration, rehabilitation, and research of properties listed in the State Register. When funds are available, reimbursement grants are awarded annually through a competitive application process.

Survey and Planning Grants

Survey and Planning Grants provide 50% matching federal funds for the preparation of community surveys, preservation plans, preparation of historic district studies and legislation, archaeological surveys, nominations to the National Register, and educational preservation programs. Eligible applicants are local historical commissions, Certified Local Governments, local and state agencies, educational institutions, and private organizations.  For the FY2018 grand round applicants are limited to the Certified Local Government municipalities of Boston, Bedford, Brookline, Danvers, Eastham, Easton, Falmouth, Framingham, Gloucester, Grafton, Hingham, Holyoke, Lexington, Lowell, Medfield, Medford, Methuen, New Bedford, Newton, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Somerville, and Worcester.

Information on the 2018 Survey and Planning Grant Program

Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund

In years when the Commonwealth authorizes funds, monies are available for the restoration, rehabilitation, stabilization, and documentation of historic and archaeological properties owned by municipalities or nonprofit organizations. Through the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF)*, 50% matching grants are available to qualifying properties listed on the State Register to ensure their physical preservation.

Scopes of work for projects range from the acquisition of an endangered property, to the restoration of an historic building, to research projects such as historic structures reports.

Learn more about refunding of the MPPF program and application process

*(MGL Ch. 9 Section 27A)

Preservation Restrictions

Preservation Restrictions* protect historic and archaeological properties from changes that may be inappropriate. A Preservation Restriction (easement) on a property restricts present and future owners from altering a specified portion of that building, structure, or site. A restriction can run for a few years or in perpetuity and may be included as part of the property deed. Preservation restrictions can be donated or purchased by a government body or private preservation organization and are enforced by the holder of the restriction.

Charitable donations of easements on historical buildings or archaeological sites may qualify for federal income tax deductions.

*(MGL Ch. 184 Sections 31-33)